In his keynote at Cisco’s financial analyst conference, John Chambers played Tic-Tac-Toe over a Cisco Telepresence system to demonstrate how Telepresence is becoming more consumer-oriented and personal. The Tic-Tac-Toe over IP demo might be a shot in the right direction, writes Zeus Kerravata, as entertainment may be the driver that Telepresence is looking for.
“Technology can have a major impact on the fan experience at ballparks… Cisco and the A’s will be setting new standards in terms of the field and the surrounding village… We are seeing incredible innovations in the digital media and video technology, including my favorite technology, Telerpresence. We can leverage both entertainment and sports to showcase the value of the network to enhance the fan experience”.
The concept of a stadium filled with high quality cameras that project any event from multiple views to large high definition screens in front of your seat, including replay-by-demand, sounds very promising. As Zeus points out, the same goes for other types of entertainment, such as music events, next generation gaming, and – of course – personal communication (which is a very popular means of entertainment, isn’t it?).
In “WarGames”, in case you missed it (or don’t remember… after all, 25 years have passed), a supercomputer called WOPR (pronounced “Whopper”), which is programmed to predict all possible outcomes of a world war and choose the best scenario accordingly, is given control over NORAD‘s missile silos.
To make a long story short, while WOPR goads the humans at NORAD into starting World War III in order to “win”, a bright teenaged hacker (Matthew Broderick) teaches WOPR that, as Sting wisely wrote in “Russians” “there’s no such thing as a winnable war”. He does that by letting WOPR play Tic-Tac-Toe against itself, which shows WOPR that “the only winning move is not to play”, which is a known conclusion from Game Theory.
“WarGames”, apart from being nominated for 3 Oscars, has made a great impact. It has inspired many technology and ethics related articles (see here and here for some good examples) and is responsible for the terms “War Dialing” and “Wardriving“. It also inspired video games like the official video game, the official strategy game, and several other games.
25 years later, it seems that “WarGames”, slightly updated with the latest in computer and weapons technology, is still very relevant. I guess if it was filmed today, there would probably be a few Telepresence systems in NORAD headquarters, and so WOPR 2000 could’ve enjoyed a high definition version of Tic-Tac-Toe, while learning the greater truths of life.